Written by Precious Pono
My name is Precious Pono. I am a mixed race South African (Srilankan and Xhosa). I grew up in a small town called Whittlesea with a Christian upbringing though I did not know Christ personally. I decided to attend Grahamstown Rhodes University to pursue a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. Little did I know that God actually brought me there for a plan far bigger than I could imagine.
In my second year in school, I gave my life to Christ and my new life in him started to unfold, blessing after blessing. The biggest blessing was to serve the Lord in the various areas He was calling me to. One area that has been the most exciting and also uplifting for my faith has been my involvement with Truth in Love Ministry and witnessing to Mormon missionaries.
I got involved with Please Open the Door when a friend of mine was considering leaving our church and joining the LDS Church since her boyfriend she was intending to get married was Mormon. She invited me for one of the lessons the Mormon missionaries were giving her. At the time, I knew nothing about the LDS church. I remember my mom calling them a cult, but I always thought she was superstitious. As the missionaries were giving the lesson on their plan of salvation, I found most of what they taught confusing and contrary to what I already knew about salvation. It sounded like they were saying we have to contribute towards our salvation and I had believed it was a free gift that I could not possibly earn even if I tried. I voiced my opinions and pointed them to a few scriptures, but decided to not meet with them again. I prayed hard for my friend that she may see the light and by his grace she did.
About a month later I was reading a book titled “Out of Mormonism” that my friend had found at our church library. It was written by a lady who was an ex-Mormon and she was sharing her experience as a LDS member. As I was reading that book, my heart broke and I started to intercede for the missionaries I had met with my friend. Scripture after scripture God was clearly showing me that those kids were lost and they needed someone to share the gospel to them. I knew what I had to do, but I didn't know how. I searched on the internet for approaches and they all seemed harsh, so I typed in my search engine "sharing the gospel to Mormons with love." A link to Truth in Love Ministry popped up and I sent an email to the ministry asking for help.
It has been an honor and a privilege to receive coaching from Pastor Mark Cares. He would diligently answer all my questions and was very dedicated to our Skype sessions which I thoroughly enjoyed. Everything he taught me was useful as I witnessed to seven different missionaries throughout the year.
Coming across Truth in Love Ministry and the Please Open the Door initiative was very exciting. I could not believe there were other Christians in the world who were concerned about our lost LDS brothers and sisters. In South Africa, people either don't know about them, don't care about them, or generally stay away from them. I think this is a great ministry and I am planning to get a few more of my friends and members of my church involved in reaching out to the LDS.
People would ask me why I hang out with LDS missionaries so much and wonder what I was doing. They would say that I am wasting my time. I explained about Truth in Love Ministry and all the other people in the world who are involved in this ministry. I am sharing with fellow Christians in my own community about what we've been doing and get all the willing people involved. I appreciate all the materials Truth in Love Ministry has prepared and the discussion forums on pleaseopenthedoor.com are pretty insightful too. It's good to have other people who care about the same things I do.
It's scary to put your faith out there especially to people who are most likely going to try and convert you. But knowing our Heavenly Father wants us to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth, and trusting the Holy Spirit guides us every step of the way, has been more than comforting. In all honesty, it is he who does the work. We are just vessels offering ourselves to be used by him. I encourage every Christian to always be ready to share about the hope we have in Christ so that our feet that spread good news may be blessed.